Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sin Wages War Against the Soul

Peter says that sinful desires that remain in our hearts “wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2: 11) — the military language correctly translates expression and conveys the imagery that sinful desires within us are like soldiers in a battle and their target is our spiritual well-being. To give in to such sinful desires, to nurture and cherish them in our hearts, is to give food, shelter, and welcome to the enemy’s troops. If we yield to the desires that “wage war” against our souls, we will inevitably feel some loss of spiritual strength, some diminution of spiritual power, some loss of effectiveness in the work of God’s kingdom. Moreover, when we sin as Christians we suffer a loss of heavenly reward. A person who has built on the work of the church not with gold, silver, and precious stones, but with “wood, hay, stubble” (1 Cor. 3: 12) will have his work “burned up” on the day of judgment and “he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire” (1 Cor. 3: 15). Paul realizes that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body” (2 Cor. 5: 10). Paul implies that there are degrees of reward in heaven, 27 and that sin has negative consequences in terms of loss of heavenly reward. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 506

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